Browsing Category "California"
The miners' homes.

Eureka! I have found a gold mine ghost town!

By     |    Mar 15, 2012
Posted in: California, Drives, Hikes     |    1 Comment

Eureka Mine is a tiny dot on the grand Death Valley map. It’s located off Emigrant Canyon Road, a small, in-and-out road whose primary purpose is to take hikers to the trail to the highest point in the park, Telescope Peak, and to take tourists to the charcoal kilns. What the dot doesn’t tell you is that Eureka Mine is also the site of a sweet little ghost camp (it’s not […]

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A great weathered trail marker.

Death Valley’s Gower Gulch Loop Hike through Golden Canyon

By     |    Mar 14, 2012
Posted in: California, Hikes, Parks     |    2 Comments

The first time we were in Death Valley, we tried to do the Golden Canyon/Gower Gulch Loop hike. We tried, but didn’t succeed, because the beginning of the hike, the Golden Canyon portion, is on the tourist must-do list. It was so busy the last time we were here that we turned around and found another canyon, the fabulous Desolation Canyon, that just happened to be deserted and beautiful. To […]

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Crazies in the parking lot.

Crazies in the Death Valley Desert

By     |    Mar 14, 2012
Posted in: California, Parks     |    No Comments

“Excuse me,” the guy asked Lisa, “how do we procure a campsite?” That’s what this hipster said — “procure.” He and his significant other had just parked at the campsite next to ours inside Death Valley’s Emigrant Campground. They were on what sounded like their first camping trip. Lisa told them — they’re free, just set your shit up (but she said it nicely). “Can you build campfires here?” a […]

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Fun narrows in the upper canyon.

Going all the way in Mosaic Canyon

By     |    Mar 13, 2012
Posted in: California, Hikes     |    No Comments

We’re back in Death Valley and it feels both like we’ve never left and like it’s our first visit. The great thing about being able to return to the same place for the third time is that we can pick up where we left off in spots like Mosaic Canyon. On our first visit, we hiked about a half mile into Mosaic Canyon at sunset and were very sad to […]

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That's us. That spot on the horizon is our campground.

An Ode to Death Valley

By     |    Mar 13, 2012
Posted in: California, Ode to _, Parks     |    2 Comments

Oh, Death Valley, how I love thee! Let me count the ways… You’re silent. I don’t mean quiet – I mean silent. As soon as I’m a mile away from a road, the only thing making noise is me. Maybe there’s a little wind, or birds chirping, or ravens croaking, or a plane tearing overhead on its way to LA. But usually not. The soundtrack tends to be made up […]

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Tacos in Paso Robles. This place has everything.

But Can You Get Tacos? Mexican Food at Papi’s in Paso Robles.

By     |    Mar 9, 2012
Posted in: California, Food     |    4 Comments

Fine, fine — the wine is great. The weather is wonderful. It’s close to the ocean, mountains, and San Luis Obispo. Paso Robles is perfect in every way. Whatever, Lisa. Let’s get this straight — the only criteria that matters is the one wrapped in a tortilla. If this place doesn’t have decent Mexican food, I’m leaving. Don’t you remember looking for tacos in Vermont? How about this place, Papi’s? […]

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086 (Small)

Paso Robles Wine Tour: Chronic Cellars

By     |    Mar 9, 2012
Posted in: California, Wine     |    1 Comment

The fifth and final stop on our small-scale wine tour of the Paso Robles region was Chronic Cellars. While in Chicago, we discovered Chronic wines at our local, family-owned grocery store, Lincoln Park Market. At first, we got it confused with that wine made by the guy from Tool, and if it hadn’t been good, we never would have picked it up again. But damn…it was good. It was feisty. It became […]

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Lone Madrone also gives you a glass with the tasting...how many mismatched glasses do we need, people?

Paso Robles Wine Tour: Lone Madrone

By     |    Mar 8, 2012
Posted in: California, Wine     |    2 Comments

The fourth stop on our small-scale wine tour of the Paso Robles region was Lone Madrone, tagline: a “west side winery!” Of course, one of my first questions was: what’s with the name? Well, the Madrone is a type of tree found along the west coast, and the owner found a single one somewhere…and…well, at this point, this was the third winery we visited on my day of tasting, and it was before […]

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Look at that gorgeous black walnut counter.

Paso Robles Wine Tour: Turley Wine Cellars

By     |    Mar 7, 2012
Posted in: California, Wine     |    3 Comments

The third stop on our small-scale wine tour of the Paso Robles region was Turley Wine Cellars, our first west side winery. We went to Turley because of the blurb from the Paso Robles Wine Country Guide: “A wide selection of Old Vine Zinfandels ranging in price from $10-$40 per bottle.” SOLD! Paul recognized the surname, but this is Larry Turley’s winery. He’s the brother of the more-famous Helen Turley. Her […]

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Tasting at Wild Horse.

Paso Robles Wine Tour: Wild Horse Winery

By     |    Mar 6, 2012
Posted in: California, Wine     |    No Comments

The second stop on our small-scale wine tour of the Paso Robles region was Wild Horse Winery. Founded in 1981, Wild Horse was just the seventh winery established in the Paso region (read more about Paso Robles) — this was even before the region was officially designated as an AVA. Wild Horse is located to the east of the 101, like J. Lohr. They source from a wide range of vineyards […]

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